Dorothy Hobbs Boehm is the daughter of architect-artist Morris Henry Hobbs. She is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and grew up in Highland Park. Her first art projects were clay modeling, wood/stone/soap carving, linoleum blocks, and painting. Prior to her art career, she attended two Midwest universities and worked as a flight attendant. She and a friend opened The Clay Pigeon, a ceramics studio, in 1967. Boehm taught art classes for the Deer Path Art League.